Caltex’s plans to purchase 302 retail outlets from Mobil – 30 retail outlets in Adelaide – are being examined by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC).

At the invitation of the ACCC, RAA has made a submission to the inquiry on behalf of SA motorists and has urged the ACCC to undertake modelling to determine the localised impacts to competition.

RAA has stressed that it does not want to see Adelaide’s currently highly competitive market weaken as a result of this acquisition.

RAA is concerned that allowing further concentration in the retail sector, along with further concentration of market share in the wholesale sector, may not bode well for competition at the bowser.

Recent trends in Adelaide suggest that while retail competition is healthy – evidenced through a highly predictive weekly discount cycle – it’s not fierce.

While Caltex has suggested that the deal represents just 6% of retail outlets in Australia, RAA analysis suggests that this is closer to 12.8% in Adelaide and may be even higher interstate. While Mobil-branded petrol stations may continue to exist, these will be franchisee-owned and operated – and Mobil will not set the pump price. As such, the deal represents a reduction in the number of major market players.

At the same time, Caltex – which charges the highest daily wholesale prices of the fuel majors in Adelaide* – would become the wholesale market leader, increasing its wholesale market share from 26.9% to 39.7%, ahead of BP’s 30.8%.

Proponents of the deal expect to know whether it will gain regulatory approval by 5 August.

Categories: GENERAL News

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